I’m blogging with mixed emotions today, as news of You Say Party‘s return is greatly welcomed ’round QBiM HQ, but it comes with a reminder that their extended hiatus since 2009’s XXXX LP came after the sudden death of drummer Devon Clifford. The band, now a four piece, came together for a reunion of sorts this fall for Paper Bag Records’ 10th Anniversary Concert series, and indicated that new music would be forthcoming. Wednesday afternoon, “Friend”, their tribute to Clifford, debuted via the You Say Party Bandcamp page.
While not straying far from the band’s origins as an upstart proto-punk dance band, the tone and tempo of “Friend” is probably more mellow than fans may have come to expect from You Say Party. It hints at the musical direction they’ll be moving in, according to this article that appeared on exlaim.ca earlier in the week. Not that You Say Party haven’t ventured into this mellower territory before; “Friend” reminds me very much of “Heart of Gold”, one of my favourite moments on XXXX and of 2009 in general. I went so far as to call it the band’s “coming out track, their evolutionary jump forward as a band that can’t easily be pegged by derivative genre-splicing categories” back in this post from April, 2010, just days before Devon Clifford passed away. If viewed from the perspective of continuity, then “Friend” picks up exactly where “Heart of Gold” (XXXX‘s last song) leaves off. It is a testament to the resiliency of You Say Party, and their deep love for their friend.
“Friend” is available as a download from the You Say Party Bandcamp page now, along with a remix by Teen Daze. Expect more music in the coming months.
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